Preston and Morton Aubrey are the kind of match that just makes sense—like chocolate and peanut butter, Sunday and brunch, or a little black dress and pearls. Morton calls Preston the yin to his yang. It doesn’t get much better than that.
A Houston native, Preston, 33, is a real-estate agent for Compass Real Estate. Morton, 58, was born in Baytown, and is a procurement and supply-chain manager for INEOS Oxide. The couple now resides in League City, about 40 minutes south of Houston.
The two met on September 5, 2017, after chatting for a few weeks on Grindr and talking by phone. “Preston lived in Houston at the time. I asked him to come down and meet me in League City,” Morton recalls.
Preston proposed to Morton in July of 2019. Preston had planned to buy a ring and then wait for the “magical moment” to hit, but after returning home with the ring he was simply too excited to wait a minute longer. “As I walked into the house, Morton was sitting at the table reading a news article on his iPad. I interrupted him and asked him to marry me, and I presented him with the ring. He said yes!”
The proposal could not have been anymore “Preston-like,” Morton adds. “I am more inclined to plan elaborate things. Preston is more spontaneous. In that sense, the proposal was perfect.”
The couple wed on April 23, 2021, at Hotel ZaZa in Houston’s Museum District. Several things figured into picking that date, the couple says. First, having gotten engaged during the pandemic, they wanted to be sure to wait until it was safe for family and friends to attend. And because of Houston’s hot and muggy summers, they figured spring would be a better bet.
“Finally, it was the weekend date closest to my deceased mother’s birthday. We thought it would be a nice remembrance, as she was quite a lady and we wished she could have been there,” Morton says.
Having an LGBTQ wedding planner was very important to Morton. “We interviewed several, and very quickly knew Lauren Smith would be perfect for us. There was a very quick connection. She ‘got’ our wedding ideas and themes immediately, and was really enthusiastic and supportive. She killed it!”
Lauren’s wife, Jessica Williams, was their photographer. “We didn’t know she was Lauren’s wife,” Preston says. The couple was going over photographer portfolios in Lauren’s office, and they kept choosing photography that was from Jessica. “When we made the decision to choose a photographer based on her body of work and [shooting style], Lauren told us the photographer we were choosing was her wife. And then we got to meet Jessica, who was somewhere in the back working on photos. We were super-happy to have them working as a team,” Preston says.
Hotel ZaZa was also a perfect choice for the couple, with its quirky, upscale decor as well as its fabulous location and views. “We had both used the hotel in the past, and we knew the staff would do everything possible to help pull off an amazing wedding,” Preston notes. “They did not disappoint—we could not have picked a better location.”
Close friend Heather Feldman served as their officiant because she knew them well. “She could speak to and about us in a way that was deeply meaningful, and really resonated,” Morton says. After enthusiastically accepting the couple’s invitation, she researched how to become an officiant, registered with the Universal Life Church, and started preparing for the big day.
“She turned out to be the perfect pick,” Preston adds. “She made that a very special and memorable moment for us.”
Both agree that their “first look” was the most memorable moment of the wedding. “Preston can be a bit stoic. I had never seen him cry in happiness until that moment of the big reveal. It’s all on film, too, so he can’t deny it!” Morton says.
Because of the pandemic, the happy couple has not yet gone on their honeymoon, but they are hoping to travel together to the City of Light. Morton has been to Paris once, though only briefly, and Preston has never been there. “We think it would be a fun place to explore and experience together while creating first-time memories,” Morton says.
This article appears in the September 2021 edition of OutSmart magazine.